As a "grand old man" of the Imperial Army, Kan'in occupied the post of chief of staff of the army between December 1931 and October 1940. His age made him a mere figurehead, providing the opportunity for radical midrank officers to increase their influence in army decision making. Prince Kan'in died in Tokyo on 20 May 1945.
Large, Stephen S. Emperor Hirohito and Showa Japan: A Political Biography. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.; Morley, James W. Japan Erupts: The London Naval Conference and the Manchurian Incident, 1928–1932. New York: Columbia University Press, 1984.; Shillony, Ben-Ami. Politics and Culture in Wartime Japan. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981.